675g/1.5lb boneless lean cubed stewing lamb
seasoned flour to coat
2 tablespoons oil
1 large chopped onion
2 diced carrots
1 stalk chopped celery
450ml/.75 pint stock
1 tablespoon tomato puree
.5 teaspoon finely chopped fresh or dried rosemary
225g/8oz self-raising flour
pinch of salt
50g/2oz butter or margarine
.5 teaspoon dried or 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
approx. 6 tablespoons milk, milk to glaze.
- Toss the lamb in seasoned flour and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion, carrot and celery over a low heat until beginning to soften, about 3-5 minutes.
- Remove with a slotted spoon and place in a 1.75 litre/3 pint casserole dish.
- Add the meat to the pan juices and brown on all sides. Transfer to the casserole.
- Pour the stock into the pan juices and bring to the boil. Pour over the meat and vegetables in the casserole.
- Stir in the tomato puree and rosemary.
- Cover and cook in a moderate oven (180 C, 350 F, Gas Mark 4) for 1 hour.
Meanwhile make the cobbler topping:
- Sift the flour and salt into a bowl.
- Rub the butter or margarine into the flour mixture until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Stir in the rosemary and mix to a soft but workable dough with the milk.
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 2cm/.75 inch thick. Cut into rounds using a 5cm/2 inch plain or fluted scone cutter.
- Place on a greased baking tray and glaze with milk. Bake in a hot oven (220 C, 425 F, Gas Mark 7) for 15 minutes until well risen and golden brown. Place on top of the casserole and cook for a further 5 minutes. Serve at once.
Cook's Tip: This tasty lamb casserole can be finished with a variety of toppings:
- French bread: Top with rounds of French bread spread with butter or a mixture of butter and herbs, butter and crushed garlic or butter and yeast extract. Cook uncovered for a further 15-20 minutes.
- Choux Buns: Top with small cooked savoury choux buns made with either cheesy or herby choux paste. Bake in a moderately hot oven (200 C, 400 F, Gas Mark 6) for about 25 minutes.
- Puff Pastry Shapes: Top with cut-out shapes of cooked puff pastry.